Vladimir Putin should be taken seriously. But, that doesn’t mean that he is not bluffing. When he threatens using nuclear weapons or cutting off the flow of oil and gas to Europe and the West, it should serve as a major wake up call to the world. Not only does the West need to make sure that they are not too dependent on Putin. There should never be a time when the West is too dependent on any one country – China, Russia, or any other country.
The isolationist view that proposes not getting involved in issues around the world are burying their hands in sand. If the United States of America would not have air craft carriers and bases all around the world, the bad actors would be acting up wherever they wanted and America would find itself fighting on it’s own turf.
Russia is invading Ukraine because there are not enough safeguards in the world to deter the Russians. If China decides to invade Taiwan, it will be because of a lack of sufficient deterrence. If Taiwan does not get attacked, it will be because Taiwan has sufficiently scared away China.
But never should tyrants be ignored when they threaten the world with massive destruction or use of nuclear weapons. That is one of the key lessons of World War I and Word War II. Take the words of tyrants seriously.